FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION INSTITUTE
16 APRIL, 2015
The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) is relieved that appropriate parameters for exercise of free speech in parliament have been reaffirmed in a court judgment concerning the matter between Mr Julius Malema and Chairman of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) – Ms Thandi Modise.
The matter involved an incident in which Malema was ordered to withdraw a statement he made to the effect that the “ANC government had massacred mineworkers in Marikana”. This was in parliament during the state of the nation debate presided over by Modise in 2014, who deemed the statement “unparliamentary”.
On 15th April 2015 Judge J Bozalek ruled that the following three decisions made by Modise on 19th June 2014 be set aside;
• The decision that statements made by Malema are unparliamentary and do not accord with the decorum of the House;
• The decision to request and order Malema to withdraw his statement that the ANC had massacred the mineworkers at Marikana in that the police who killed them represent the ANC government;
• The decision to ask Malema to leave the House.
The FXI is pleased with the judgment and is positive that such a judgment will encourage rather than stifle robust debate in parliament on issues of national importance.
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